Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - (Page 62)

RICK PETRY Is the Infomercial Media Fracas Good for Business? There was a time not so long ago when the concept of an agency of record meant something. In simple terms, the sellers of infomercial airtime – a broadcaster, local station or rep firm – insisted upon having one agency that represented each paid program. They valued their relationships with agency partners and did not want to get caught in between those competing for a marketer’s business and the coveted inventory. They also protected the marketer from running in time periods back-toback. There were exceptions – some media reps would turn a blind eye to brokering and allow the free trading of their half-hours, known as avails. This development was always mystifying because inventories and drives up rates that ultimately increase their revenues. Conversely, why would a marketer perpetuate the situation? This is where it gets a bit more complicated. First, with roughly a billion dollars of domestic long-form airtime, there simply aren’t enough good half-hour slots to go around. Think about it: If one successful show can spend a cool million each week, which is not unheard of, that one show could mop up 5 percent of all available inventories. In many exchanges, that would be considered cornering the market. So the marketer attempts to diversify its ability to get desirable media by employing multiple agencies. But there is another underlying reason for this tactic: Trust, and the value marketers place on their agencies, has eroded along with the ability to attribute results to time periods. Though it’s understood DRTV drives sales through all channels, the inability to pinpoint to what extent it drives these sales has caused the marketplace to degenerate into nothing more than a commodity driven by price. Maybe this is simply a sign of a maturing marketplace. Maybe it’s a shame. But the sellers of media who are catching rays in cabanas on the fringes of industry trade shows really ought to look inside their souls and acknowledge that the direct response industry is an interdependent ecosystem that needs both their inventories and their hearts invested. Sure, it’s about money. It always is. But veterans will tell you, this business has always been about something more. Together, marketers, sellers and their agencies can work together to carry on that tradition, or make it an argument that rings hollow; alas, one heard to no avail. Rick Petry is a freelance writer who specializes in direct marketing and is a past chairman of ERA. He can be reached at (503) 740-9065 or online at rickpetry.com. On Twitter at http:// twitter.com/thepetrydish. Many sellers of airtime are now allowing a free-for-all where more than a dozen agencies compete for time slots on behalf of the same clients and paid programs. it suggested that more money could be wrenched from the inventory, but those gains were being realized by resellers. In light of the incessant pressure to increase revenues, one could only attribute this to sheer laziness on the part of the rep who was permitting others to do his or her job. Not surprisingly, whispers of kickbacks echoed along Madison Avenue. Ironically, compared to today, those now seem like the good old days of mild avarice. Many sellers of airtime are now allowing a free-for-all where more than a dozen agencies compete for time slots on behalf of the same clients and paid programs. It’s enough to conjure up the ghost of Susan Powter to scream, “Stop the insanity!” But, you may wonder: Why would sellers of infomercial avails do this? They do it because it creates manufactured competition for their 62 electronicRETAILER | June 2011 http://www.rickpetry.com http://www.twitter.com/thepetrydish http://www.twitter.com/thepetrydish

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - June 2011

Electronic Retailer - June 2011
Contents
Calendar of Events
Your Association, Your Bottom Line
Industry Reports
FTC Forum
eMarketer Research
IMS Retail Rankings
Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index
Ask the Expert
The Evolution of a Global Business
UK Home Shopping Finds Its Niche
Guest Viewpoint
Brendan Condon Wants it All
Managing an Order from Start to Finish
Radio
Legal
Support Services
Fulfillment
Member Spotlight
Advertiser Spotlight
Bulletin Board
Advertiser Index
Classifieds
Rick Petry

Electronic Retailer - June 2011

Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Electronic Retailer - June 2011 (Page Cover1)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Electronic Retailer - June 2011 (Page Cover2)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Electronic Retailer - June 2011 (Page 3)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Contents (Page 4)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Contents (Page 5)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Contents (Page 6)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Calendar of Events (Page 7)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Your Association, Your Bottom Line (Page 8)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Your Association, Your Bottom Line (Page 9)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Industry Reports (Page 10)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Industry Reports (Page 11)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Industry Reports (Page 12)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Industry Reports (Page 13)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - FTC Forum (Page 14)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - FTC Forum (Page 15)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - eMarketer Research (Page 16)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - eMarketer Research (Page 17)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - IMS Retail Rankings (Page 18)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - IMS Retail Rankings (Page 19)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories (Page 20)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories (Page 21)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index (Page 22)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index (Page 23)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Ask the Expert (Page 24)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Ask the Expert (Page 25)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - The Evolution of a Global Business (Page 26)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - The Evolution of a Global Business (Page 27)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - The Evolution of a Global Business (Page 28)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - The Evolution of a Global Business (Page 29)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - The Evolution of a Global Business (Page 30)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - The Evolution of a Global Business (Page 31)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - UK Home Shopping Finds Its Niche (Page 32)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - UK Home Shopping Finds Its Niche (Page 33)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - UK Home Shopping Finds Its Niche (Page 34)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - UK Home Shopping Finds Its Niche (Page 35)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Guest Viewpoint (Page 36)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Guest Viewpoint (Page 37)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Guest Viewpoint (Page 38)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Guest Viewpoint (Page 39)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Brendan Condon Wants it All (Page 40)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Brendan Condon Wants it All (Page 41)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Brendan Condon Wants it All (Page 42)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Brendan Condon Wants it All (Page 43)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Managing an Order from Start to Finish (Page 44)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Managing an Order from Start to Finish (Page 45)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Managing an Order from Start to Finish (Page 46)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Managing an Order from Start to Finish (Page 47)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Managing an Order from Start to Finish (Page 48)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Radio (Page 49)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Legal (Page 50)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Legal (Page 51)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Support Services (Page 52)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Support Services (Page 53)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Fulfillment (Page 54)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Fulfillment (Page 55)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Member Spotlight (Page 56)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Member Spotlight (Page 57)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Advertiser Spotlight (Page 58)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Advertiser Index (Page 59)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Classifieds (Page 60)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Classifieds (Page 61)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Rick Petry (Page 62)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Rick Petry (Page Cover3)
Electronic Retailer - June 2011 - Rick Petry (Page Cover4)
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